Sunday, January 8, 2023

Liturgy: Jesus' Baptism - Matthew 3 (January 8, 2023)

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Call to Worship

Leader: We hear the voice of John the Baptist crying out in the wilderness:
People: “Change your hearts and lives! The kindom of heaven is at hand!”
Leader: He summons us to prepare the way for the Lord.
People: We hear and we respond – “We are ready!”
Leader: The Lord be with you!
People: [Respond with indicated gesture:] And also with you!
Leader: Let us worship the Lord.

Call to Confession

Leader: John the Baptist not only calls us to change our hearts and lives, but to produce fruit that demonstrates such repentance. Far too often, we fall far short of these requirements. But we know that if we come before the Lord in true repentance, God’s forgiveness and mercy will cover us completely. Therefore, let us confess our sins together before God.

Unison Prayer of Confession

People: Holy God, we long to live our lives as righteous children of Abraham, but we know that more often, we behave as children of snakes. We celebrate ourselves and ignore the needs of our human siblings. We mislead others for our own benefit. We foster anger and resentment without seeking reconciliation. And after all is said and done, we try to escape your judgement of our words and actions. Forgive us, Emmanuel. Help us to follow the righteous example you offer through your own life on earth and the guidance you provide for us every day. In your mercy, hear our prayer… 

Declaration of Forgiveness

Leader: Friends, hear the words that God speaks to you on this and every day: “This is my child, whom I dearly love; I find happiness in them.” There is nothing you can say or do that can separate you from this love. Therefore, know and believe that you are forgiven in Christ. Thanks be to God!

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